Tactical training?:

Total posts: [18]
Does anyone know any book, story, film, game or whatever media can teach me some great tactics/strategies in war? And I'm not just talking about the tactics themselves, but examples how they were used in war.

I had played Samurai Warriors years ago, and I was very interested when I discovered the events there in fact, happened (more or less)

I go about in wikipedia finding about 'battles of (insert place here)' that I am interested in.

If possible, it'd be set at the Feudal era of Japan, since I am writing a war story set a long time ago(not that long ago!)

Thanks! (I prefer books or websites than games however :P)
2 Voltech4424th Oct 2011 08:05:22 AM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
All Guns Sparking
Have you tried looking at The Art of War? Granted, it's more focused on tactics and strategies than real-world battles,but I've heard that it's still applicable to this day.

By the same token, a quick jump to its Wikipedia page suggests that the Japanese daimyo Takeda Shingen used the principles in The Art Of War to great effect. Maybe you can try looking into other Sengoku-era leaders? Or just Chinese generals who used the same principles?

Or if you so desire, you could put ya guns on.
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Have you tried looking at The Art of War? Granted, it's more focused on tactics and strategies than real-world battles, but I've heard that it's still applicable to this day.

Yup, I've read it already. Through the same site that linked (and thus trapped me) into this site

And yes, I've read about Takeda Shingen. I actually discovered him through Samurai Warriors :D

I'll look into Sengoku Basara right now! Shouldn't be too hard to find a copy of it.
4 Night25th Oct 2011 03:29:40 AM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
I caution that oriental tactical thinking of the period is not a sound foundation. There is a heavy overemphasis on the value of surprise and deception, on spirit over substance, on the brilliance of the commander and the quality of his tools.

Japan was ultimately conquered by men who understood the value of brute force and were willing to use it, who executed simple plans well using decent troops rather than complicated ones with superb troops.

Anything that adds to the possibility of mistakes should be considered long and hard, but it took until the Second World War for the lesson to be properly absorbed by Japanese and Chinese tacticians.
Nous restons ici.
Any tactics/strategy of any time period is welcome. In fact, knowledge of many time periods would be fun, since then I might be able to use all of them (very useful, since I am writing a novel that has Anachronism Stew)
In my U.S. History class last year, we spent a lot of time on World War II, and a good chunk of that was focused on military tactics used by various countries in the various theatres, like "Island Hopping," and Germany's failure at "The Battle of the Bulge".

I don't have that textbook (sorry), but if anything from any era is welcome, WWII overall contains a lot of tactics information, and I know that some books focus more on some aspects than others - to start, I'd go to your local library and browse that section. If nothing else, it can be good studying, and it provides clear (and horrifying) examples of how certain tactics were used in war, and we can directly observe the effects even today.

From there, if it were me, I'd study various campaigns and military leaders in history: Hellenistic Greece and Alexander the Great, the Napoleonic Wars, the Onin War, definitely don't forget Genghis Khan and Atilla, and so on. See what they used. What was successful, and under what circumstances?

Then I'd move on to specific tactics, concepts, and philosophies of war, like a war of attrition, unit interception, flanking, phalanxes, the pincer maneuver, etc.

As much as I balk at making this comparison, a lot of these tactics can be found (and utilized) in videogames, one example that I found helpful was the "Total War" series, especially the "Sparta" entry. Videogames are like war, in a way. It oversimplifies things, but in a pinch, that can work (just make sure to throw in a healthy dose of "Realism Powder".)
7 Sidewinder25th Oct 2011 05:04:15 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Sneaky Bastard
I'd second the Total War recommendation. If anything you'd learn to avoid some of the dumber elements of Hollywood Tactics, like using siege equipment to support infantry troops (I'm looking at you Christopher Paolini).
8 Night25th Oct 2011 05:37:56 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
That actually works in a number of TW games. (If only we had a psyduck emote, this is the perfect place for it.)
Nous restons ici.
9 KyleJacobs25th Oct 2011 06:55:10 PM from DC - Southern efficiency, Northern charm , Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
I'd also advise you to head over to The Thirty-Six Stratagems and browse the examples to see how they can be implemented. Also, watch a few episodes of Deadliest Warrior. Not the best, but provides a decent stepping stone.
Yup, already played Total War! (shogun war and rome ftw!)

Already read Thirty-six Strategems

Already read Hollywood Tactics
thread hop:

in real life, tactics are more of an after thought for the soldier.

as a saying goes:

Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.

You can be a tactical dumbass and still win a war if you know how to arm your men, feed them, get them safely to and away from battle, and can make sure your war machine never gets clogged up and stops.

Strategy is still important, but no great plan or masterful move will help if you can't get your tanks there and your jets to pull off the runway. In fact, logistics is the one dominant way America wins wars. We actually are not masters of tactics or strategy, but logistics. (see yankswithtanks

For example when I used to play civilization III I would build up my army, see what they field, and how much. I would find out their capabilities compared to my own, and figure out a corse of action from there. I would then go to strategy and figure out our general path of conquering. I would then take %80 or so of my forces, and concentrate it on ONE city that would serve as our landfall (if across an ocean, wars on the same continent are much messier for both sides).

Since I had superior logistics, I could stop any attacks on my homeland while also pushing into them. My main strategy was to bomb their supply lines and stop their men from being armed properly.

After I gained air superiority, the war of attrition set in. It would be long and bloody for them, but like a mighty glacier my modernized army of tanks would stomp their infantry units who couldn't be upgraded to mechanized units due to the lack of resources.

Soon just holding me back or taking back the city would exhaust them as I sent in units faster from the homeland then they could make them. I optimized production and then told it to build units for war.

Tactics only came as an after thought, "where to move my guy in trouble/where to move him to best attack!" was more a question of logistics even then as it was really "what is the fastest way to get him there/out of there," and "who can cover my unit as he makes his run for it/occupy his square as well to fortify him, and can they make it in time?"

Logistics my sir, is the answer to how to win a war, not tactics. Tactics is for the grunt unit leaders in the field to decide, not the generals.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
12 Merlo27th Oct 2011 05:45:38 PM from the masochist chamber
Also, watch a few episodes of Deadliest Warrior. Not the best, but provides a decent stepping stone.

Only the third season though. The third season usually covers a couple famous battles per episode, logistics, and strategic use of weapons, but they don't do that in the earlier seasons.

Also, YMMV on how good the "experts'" insight actually is. Dan Browned is a common complaint about the show.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
so OP, what point of view is your story being written from? the general? if so then my advice is pretty good,

but if its from teh point of view of a grunt or his superior in just a squad.. then less so. should of mentioned that my advice only really applies to the big picture of any given war >.>
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Under the Double Eagle
I'll chip in my usual recommendation: The Defence of Duffer's Drift.
Thanks for everyone's replies

By the way, the POV is through a soldier of a 'special operations unit'. His best friend however is The Strategist (his codename is such, because of his prowess) which is what puts the weight on me
Keep in mind, jasonwill, that your argument primarily applies to very modern warfare. Hannibal was a master of logistics, but it was his brilliant tactics and understanding of the battlefield that granted him victory. Logistics just allowed him to hold on in Italy for fifteen years.
17 Flanker6629th Oct 2011 02:27:40 PM from 30,000 feet and climbing , Relationship Status: You can be my wingman any time
Dreams of Revenge
Everything everyone has suggested so far is quite good, although I would like to proffer another recommendation:

Dslyecxi's ArmA2 Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures Guide.

Now, admittedly it is a guide for doing well in ArmA II's multiplayer, but the logic is sound and would be able to mostly apply to tactical situations your special operations gang may encounter. It's well-written and easy to understand, and also has some diagrams for certain things. I'd thoroughly recommend it. If you're unsure about the real life usefulness of anything, however, you should probably look it up just in case - as I said, they have made a few small concessions to account for the fact that it's a game rather than real life, so certain things may be altered somewhat.
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By the way, the POV is through a soldier of a 'special operations unit

In that case tactics would be important.

@ whoever addressed me (sorry cant see your post on the edit page),

I think it applies to most time periods to a certain degree. Even in ancient times you still needed to feed and arm your men (unless they armed themselves)... unless you were Greek and not going that far and your men armed themselves.

I think in the Art of War estimating your enemy's abilities and a few other logistics are somewhere in the beginning steps of planning for a war, but I may be wrong. I just think that logistics take more importance to tactics in general. However for the OP's senerio it sounds like tactics would be much more important a focus making most of what I said useless regardless >.> I assumed since he was playing some RTS games he was looking for something towards a larger scale, but I assumed wrong.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
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Total posts: 18